If you’ve been eating low-cal and low-fat, and working out regularly, but still haven’t seen the scale budge, your body is telling you that it’s missing something.
This can be especially helpful if you have hit a plateau in your weight loss journey. One or more of the following vitamins and supplements could make the difference and help you shed those last 10 lbs!
Even a diet heavy in fruits, veggies, and lean proteins can lack the specific nutrients that aid weight loss.
Supplementing your daily meals and snacks with these nutrients can lead to short-term weight loss and keeping the weight off long-term.
Check out this list of the 11 best supplements and vitamins that can help you lose weight.
You can try one, or combine a couple, to improve your overall health and get the scale moving in the right direction.
Protein plays a couple of major roles in weight loss. First, your body burns more calories metabolizing proteins than it does processing carbs or fat.
Second, protein helps you build and maintain muscle tissue.
Since muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat (even when you’re just sitting around), building and maintaining muscle is key for weight loss.
For more information and tips about how to lose weight with protein powder, check out our video on our Youtube Channel, The Health Nerd, on Whey Protein for Weight Loss:
Most of us don’t consume enough protein from our daily diet to get the true weight loss benefits, which is why a protein powder can provide an added boost. Protein powder provides a highly concentrated amount of protein in one easy step.
Whey protein, in particular, seems to be the go-to for weight loss. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition concluded that taking whey protein may lead to loss of weight and body fat, and help to increase lean muscle mass.
A good and relatively inexpensive whey protein to start out with is Gold Standard Whey.
Glutamine is an amino acid that is essential for your body to build protein, which in turn helps it maintain muscle mass. Since muscle plays an important role in burning calories (see above), a lack of glutamine can keep you from losing weight.
In a study published in 2014, women who took glutamine supplements for four weeks–without changing their diets or exercise routines–lost more weight than women who took only a protein supplement for four weeks. The scientists concluded that glutamine was “safe and effective” for weight loss.
Glutamine is in foods like beans, spinach, and cabbage, but since most of us don’t eat enough of these foods on a daily basis, a supplement is probably the best way to increase your glutamine intake.
One of our favorite brands for this supplement is Optimum Nutrition.
3. Matcha Green Tea
Green tea is a popular dietary supplement for weight loss because of the antioxidant EGCG, which can boost your metabolism during exercise. Matcha green tea has even more EGCG than regular green tea, so you’re more likely to lose or maintain weight with it.
Matcha green tea comes in a powder form as opposed to loose or bagged tea leaves. Grinding the tea leaves into a powder is what allows you to get more nutrients from matcha than from regular green tea.
Remember that exercise remains essential when taking matcha green tea. Continue to jog, run, lift weights, or do another type of moderately strenuous exercise routine once you’ve introduced matcha to your diet.
While the Japanese culinary grade matcha is quite expensive, there are plenty of other organic brands that are produced in China that have just as many health benefits. Our favorite brand is this one from Amazon.
4. Fish Oil
Fish oil is made up of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are well-known for their health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and improving overall heart health.
The words “fatty acid” don’t exactly scream “weight loss”, but omega-3s may help you lose weight by stimulating enzymes that initiate the fat-burning process in cells.
Omega-3s are found naturally in foods like salmon and nuts, but most people don’t eat enough of these foods to get the recommended dose. You can get an omega-3 boost through easy-to-swallow fish oil capsules.
One of the best and most affordable brands is a bestseller on Amazon by Dr. Tobias.
5. Vitamin D
Did you know that Vitamin D plays a role in helping your body determine whether or not to burn fat or store it?
When your body doesn’t have enough Vitamin D, its levels of parathyroid hormone (or PTH) increase, which can lead to your cells converting sugars into fat instead of energy.
A study from 2009 suggests that if you increase your levels of Vitamin D when starting a low-calorie diet, you’ll lose more weight, including in that stubborn belly region.
To get the daily recommended dose of Vitamin D, spend a few minutes outside in the sun or take a supplement. We recommend this brand by Viva Labs (or check out the one below that also contains calcium).
Vitamin D also helps your body absorb and use calcium, which has its own weight-loss benefits (see below.)
Scientists have been working overtime in the past several years to prove that calcium does much more than maintain healthy bones. Many studies (including this one) show that a low-calorie diet that is high in calcium can increase weight loss.
According to another study, African Americans, in particular, may benefit from diets high in calcium.
A couple glasses of milk aren’t enough to get weight loss benefits. Get yourself a calcium supplement that also has Vitamin D.
Did you know that overweight people have complete different gut bacteria than those at a normal weight?
Certain probiotics may be better for you than you may have realized. Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LPR), for instance, has been shown to help obese women achieve sustainable weight loss.
Even up to 50% more weight loss in some cases.
Probiotics can be easily added into a standard or low-calorie diet. Try eating more Greek yogurt (low sugar!) and pickled veggies like sauerkraut or kimchi. If you aren’t a fan of these foods, you can also take a probiotic supplement. Dr Ohhira’s brand is one of the best and was recommended to us by a nutritionist.
Carnitine is an amino acid that is found in the bodies of plants and animals. In humans, it helps in regulating how the body metabolizes fats and carbs.
Without enough carnitine, your body may store fat instead of burning it. Carnitine is found in many supplements taken by weight lifters.
Here is a link to the bestseller Carnitine supplement on Amazon.
9. Olive Leaf Extract
You’ve heard that olive oil is a “good fat” that can help you lose weight. Now, olive leaf extract–the key substance that gives olive oil its health benefits–may do the same.
Olive leaf extract can help manage blood glucose levels, which is important for weight loss. When blood sugar levels spike, or are erratic, the body tends to store fat instead of burning it.
Stable blood sugar also means fewer food cravings, so you won’t be grabbing foods that ruin your weight loss progress.
Nature’s Way makes one of the best olive leaf extract supplements.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) contains acetic acid, which helps to keep your body pH balanced. Properly balanced pH helps your body function properly, aiding in long-term weight loss.
In this video, Dr. Eric Berg explains how apple cider vinegar helps your body absorb minerals, mobilize calcium, digest proteins, and stimulate the thyroid; all functions that are important for weight loss. Be sure to watch all the way through; at minute 10, he shows you how to make an ACV “cocktail”.
Apple cider vinegar on its own is an acquired taste, so mixing it into a drink is definitely the way to introduce ACV to your diet. We like to sip it through a straw, which makes it even more palatable.
Apple cider vinegar won’t cause you to drop a ton of weight immediately. Add it into your long-term routine to keep weight loss consistent and long-term.
It can be found in most local grocery stores these days. Just make sure to get the organic, unfiltered kind with “the mother” (aka healthy enzymes). Bragg’s is the best brand on the market!
11. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 itself won’t cause your body to burn more fat or calories, but having more of it will help you to convert food into energy instead of fat. If you lack energy to do even light exercise, B12 could help get you moving.
B12 is in many multi-vitamins, but can also be taken as a stand-alone supplement.
Bonus! 12. Take a strong dose of our 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge
Sure, our challenge isn’t a supplement, but if we could bottle the results people are getting and sell it as one, we’d be rich!
1,000’s of people have already taken the challenge and are seeing an average of 10-21 pounds lost in 21 days.
It’s the best program around for overcoming any plateaus you may have hit and getting your butt MOTIVATED to be healthy again!